Monday, July 11, 2016

Hill Walks Away From Indiana Senate Nomination; Democrat Insiders Will Replace Him With Bayh

This morning, former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill announced he is walking away from his May nomination for the Indiana U.S. Senate seat currently held by Dan Coats.  Hill had a good chance of winning the seat against Republican nominee U.S. Rep. Todd Young who well could have been burdened by having Donald Trump at the top of the GOP ticket in what is likely to be a good Democratic year.

Hill's replacement on the ticket will be chosen by Democratic insiders, members of the state committee.  That expected nominee appears to be none other than former Gov Evan Bayh. 

Sound familiar?  In 2010, then U.S. Senator Bayh withdrew from re-election too late for
Former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh
other Democrats to get on the May primary ballot. As a result, Democrat insiders, instead of that party's electorate, picked the nominee, which turned out to be then Congressman Brad Ellsworth.  Bayh's move angered many Democrats who feel his last minute decision helped North Carolina resident Dan Coats win the election.

At the time of his 2010 decision, Bayh said he was leaving because Congress was dysfunctional and he lost interest in serving:
After all these years, my passion for service to our fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so by serving in Congress has waned,  For some time, I've had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should. There is much too much partisanship and not enough progress. ... Even at a time of enormous national challenge, the people's business is not getting done.
One has to wonder what Bayh saw about how Congress has operated in the last six years to cause him to have renewed faith in the institution.   Further, Evan Bayh does not even live in Indiana.  He is a Washington, D.C. lobbyist who lives in the Georgetown section of that city.  The Washington Business Journal published a story on the Bayh's purchase of a home four-bedroom home on N Street Northwest in March of 2015:
The former Democratic senator from Indiana, now a partner at the K Street office of McGuireWoods, said he would have been just as happy staying in Spring Valley. But with their two kids off to college, the big six-bedroom, Georgia-style brick home was more than the couple needed.
Susan Bayh, her husband said, "just liked the idea of being in the middle of things," including plenty of shopping options. After the sacrifices she made for his political career, the senator figured he could sacrifice for her by moving to Georgetown.
"It's really simple. We have twin sons who went off to college last fall, my wife really wanted to downsize, and we didn't need as much space," Bayh told me in a phone interview. "It's the age-old story. The wife wanted to move. The husband didn't. So we moved."
The couple, which celebrated their 30th anniversary last month, settled on an 1820 Federal that was completely renovated with modern amenities, an old-meets-new "best of both worlds" setup, Bayh said. The home is assessed at $1.4 million, according to the District, and initially hit the market through Washington Fine Properties at nearly $3.2 million. McEnearney Associates represented the Bayhs.
The constitutional requirement for Senate is only that a person running be a resident of the state at the time of the election. So Bayh could move back to Indiana to run for the Senate.  But the problem is that while clearly residing in Washington D.C. and working as a lobbyist in that city, Evan Bayh and his wife has for years (even after Bayh left the Senate) continued to vote in Indiana, claiming that a very modest downtown condo is the family's residence.  Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was prosecuted successfully for a felony based on the allegation that he didn't live at the address he used for voting.  Yet more popular political figures like Democrat Bayh and former Senator Richard Lugar continue to do the exactly same thing without even the slightest concern of being prosecuted.

My guess is that many Democrats will be quite displeased with today's turn of events.  Hill's donors, who could now see their donations transferred to Evan Bayh for use on his campaign, also have an even more particular reason to be angry at these turn of events.  


Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? Democrats are thrilled by and large. He will help the whole ticket and money will not be a problem.

Pete Boggs said...

Politically she inspires a tourniquet Bayh-pass of Barren-Hill...

Anonymous said...

Great article as always! Let's just do what we can to keep Bayh the Hell out of office!

Pete Boggs said...

Politically this is Bayh pass surgery. Unfortunately, like most in what's supposed to be leadership, the Governor has no track record of reducing the size of government or taxes, in real NET TERMS; familiar to citizens.